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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Invasive Staphylococcus aureus Infections Associated with Pain Injections and Reuse of Single-Dose Vials — Arizona and Delaware, 2012

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Patients in the U.S. healthcare system continue to contract life-threatening, yet completely preventable, infections as a result of healthcare providers’ failure to follow CDC’s safe injection recommendations, part of 2007 Standard Precautions.  Breaches in safe injection practices resulted in outbreaks at two outpatient clinics performing pain remediation procedures.  At least 10 patients were hospitalized with invasive Staphylococcus aureus or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.  Additional patients were treated with antibiotics on an outpatient basis, and one patient was found deceased.  Cause of death was listed as multiple drug overdoses; however, invasive MRSA could not be ruled out.  At one clinic, a pain management practice, injection safety breaches included reuse of single-dose/single-use medication vials meant for only one patient, as well as failure to wear facemasks during spinal injections.  At the second clinic, an orthopedic practice, healthcare providers were found to be reusing single-dose/single-use medication vials meant for only one patient. Medication packaged in single-dose/single-use vials should only be used for a single patient as part of a single procedure, regardless of vial size.  

2. Babesiosis Surveillance — 18 States, 2011

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People living in or traveling to the Northeast and upper Midwest this summer should protect themselves and their families against ticks to prevent getting babesiosis, another common disease carried by ticks. CDC’s new surveillance system confirms that babesiosis is a common tickborne disease in the Northeast and upper Midwest. People are at risk of getting babesiosis during the spring and summer. People can also contract babesiosis through a blood transfusion or from a mother to her child during pregnancy. Babesiosis can be life threatening, especially to people without a spleen and elderly people. Most people get the disease from the same tick that carries Lyme disease. Babesiosis is treatable with antibiotics. Currently, eighteen states are using the system to track babesiosis. States reported more than 1,100 cases of babesiosis to CDC in 2011. CDC monitors the threat of babesiosis to identify the extent of the disease in order to prevent it.

3. West Nile Virus and Other Arboviral Diseases — United States, 2011

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In 2011, CDC received reports of 871 cases of arboviral diseases (viral diseases that are spread by ticks and mosquitoes).  West Nile virus continued to be the leading cause of arboviral disease in the continental United States. However, La Crosse virus was the most common cause of arboviral disease among children, and other arboviruses continued to cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks of disease. Most arboviruses occur during late spring, summer, and early fall, when ticks and mosquitoes are active. Since there are no specific treatments for arboviral diseases, prevention is critical to reduce the impact of these illnesses.  Preventive measures include use of repellents, wearing protective clothing, repairing or installing screens, eliminating tall grass and standing water near homes, and community-level insect control programs.

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